Yeast plays a pretty central role in brewing beer. In fact, were it not for these tiny fungi (yeast is a fungus, not a bacteria), there would be no beer. There would be no wine or mead, either. Even most types of bread would be problematic. However, not all yeast is created equal. While it’s absolutely critical to creating beer, many breweries are tinkering with their cash cow. They’re going wild.
When we think about beer, most of us think about an alcoholic beverage made with malt, water, yeast and hops. And, that’s largely true. However, you’ll find a number of other combinations out there, many of them dating back thousands of years. Such is the case with braggots. While not truly a beer, these mead-beer hybrids are becoming more and more popular on the US craft beer scene as small brewers explore their art’s ancient roots.
Today, we take it for granted that the beer we’re consuming will use some type of hops. In fact, hops have been one of the key ingredients for beer for quite a long time – dating back to the Reinheitsgebot in Germany, although it took quite some time for the use of hops to spread throughout Europe and even longer for England to get on board.